In the Chinese calendar, 2018 welcomes the year of the dog!
Chinese New Year is one of the most important holidays in China, and there are many traditions and customs that come with this.
Also known as the Spring Festival, this holiday marks the end of the coldest days even though it's still very wintry, and you’ll probably also hear this called the Lunar New Year. This is because countries such as North and South Korea and Vietnam celebrate it as well. And the Spring Festival goes according to the lunar calendar which means that there is never a set date for Chinese New Year and it ranges from January 21 to February 20. This year it falls on February 16.
The longest Chinese holiday, technically spanning 15 days, this is a time when many people stock up on cooking supplies, gifts and new clothes. And it's the time when the most fireworks are set off in the world! Why so many fireworks? They were originally designed to scare off monsters and bad luck and are now a crucial part of the Spring Festival.
One of the most important traditions at this time is the family reunion and everyone makes sure they’re home for the New Year’s Eve dinner, also called the 'reunion dinner’. Several generations will sit around the table and enjoy food and time together. Dishes with lucky meanings are served, such as fish, dumplings, and spring rolls. You can see some gorgeous recipe ideas on the BBC's food website here. And of course there's the wine! There is a saying that there are no manners and/or etiquette without wine, and you, therefore, need to have wine for every ceremony, festival or important dinner. And this is a great opportunity for a whole bunch of drinking games to play including finger guessing and dice!
On New Year’s Day no one is allowed to shower, sweep up or throw out the rubbish to make sure that none of the good luck will be washed away. And it’s not just cleaning that’s taboo - put away the scissors, knives, arguments and swear words and don’t mention any unlucky words such as death or sickness!
And why red? Red is a very important colour for New Year and is seen as a weapon to keep away monsters and bad luck. Children receive money in red envelopes and decorations are plentiful including red lanterns and strings of chilli peppers. And when shopping for your Spring Festival wardrobe be sure to include a little red dress!
So to celebrate the Year of the Dog, we’ve launched our new, super cute dachshund wedding cake topper and here you can see it in lucky red. A must for sausage dog lovers in the year of the dog and who can resist a sausage on a stick?